Rugby Union
Bromsgrove survive second half fightback

By Jamie Arrowsmith Wednesday 19 December 2012 Updated: 19/12 15:59

Bromsgrove 22 Stockport 17

National Two North

BROMSGROVE’S improved run of results continued on Saturday but they were made to work incredibly hard for the success by bottom of the table Stockport despite the game looking over as a contest at half time.

The hosts, who entertain Luctonians tomorrow (2.15pm), led 17-0 and seemed to be cruising to victory as the players left the field after 40 minutes but Stockport came roaring back in the second half and it took a late John Critchlow try to secure the victory.

The game contained a number of similarities to the one of seven days before when Town scraped home against Huddersfield but the difference on this occasion was that they should have been well out of sight long before the final whistle.

If it had been a boxing match it might have been stopped when Bromsgrove led 17-0 having had a big majority of territory and possession, combined with the visitors picking up three yellow cards.

On another day Bromsgrove would have been further clear by half time but it took them 20 minutes to open the scoring, Bar Bartlett obliging with a penalty.

Stockport’s defence was tenacious throughout the match and it was not until the 32nd minute that the first try of the contest was scored when a push over scrum was touched down by Phil Horton. Bartlett converted.

The forwards did the majority of work again five minutes later when Chris Morgan was driven over, again Bartlett added the extra two points.

If the home supporters, and more importantly home players, were expecting their comfortable afternoon to continue in the second half they were very much mistaken as, despite once again seeing more of the ball, Bromsgrove were suddenly unable to find a way through Stockport’s impressive defence.

Instead of being patient and leaving the work to the superior pack they launched optimistic kicks which proved meat and drink to Stockport’s backs, giving them the opportunity to counter through their quicker backs.

And that they did to great effect, scoring excellent long range tries on 50, 55 and 65 minutes through Sam James, Myles Hall and Jamie Anthony, the last of which was converted by Alex Zavalis-Roebuck. Bromsgove’s players and supporters were in shock.

Fortunately Town kept their heads, kept up the pressure and were rewarded with a score on 75 minutes when Critchlow crashed over from a pre-planned move.

The visitors were not done though and came close to scoring at the end but Bromsgrove just about held on when really it should have been a comfortable bonus point victory.

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